April 1, 2013

Branford woman faces additional charges following standoff

April 1, 2013 Bryant Thigpen Suwannee Democrat

Branford — A Branford woman faces additional criminal charges following an alleged suicide attempt that evolved into a four-hour standoff last Tuesday, according to the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a SCSO report, Janice Wilson Thomas, 49, was in possession of a .380 caliber semi-auto pistol on Tuesday when she did shoot at a deputy and threaten to shoot other deputies on the scene. Thomas was later found to be a convicted felon through a check of her criminal history, which showed she was guilty of a charge of possession of cocaine in 2005 in Columbia County. Thomas was then charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On March 26, at approximately 4:30 p.m., an officer responded to 4347 284th Street, Branford, in reference to Thomas, who allegedly attempted to commit suicide by pills. While en route, the officer was advised by dispatch that the husband stated he had heard a gunshot and Thomas was not responding to him calling for her.

When the officer arrived at the scene, he was informed by the husband that Thomas was locked in her bedroom located on the northwest side of the home. When the officer walked inside the home and found the bedroom door locked, he then knocked on the door and announced Sheriff’s Office, and there was no answer. The officer repeated the statement several times before attempting to kick the door open, with the end result of having to shoulder the door open. When the door opened, the officer entered the room and observed Thomas sitting cross legged on the bed and pointing a gun at him. As he ducked back out of the bedroom door, the officer heard a gunshot. He then exited the trailer and took cover outside.

Thomas later exited the trailer multiple times holding the gun in her right hand threatening to start shooting and threatened to commit suicide if they they (law enforcement) did not leave.

Around 8 p.m., Thomas exited the home without the gun and was ordered to the ground and taken into custody.

Thomas was arrested and transported to the Suwannee County Jail. She is being charged with attempted murder on a law enforcement officer and nine counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on law enforcement officers, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

 

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